Bernard Meadows 1915-2005

Bernard Meadows studied at Norwich School of Art from 1934 to 1936, and worked as an assistant to Henry Moore from 1936 to 1940 while training at the Royal College of Art in London. During World War II he served in the Royal Air Force. In 1951 he became a member of the London Group. He taught at Chelsea School of Art from 1948 to 1960, and from 1960 to 1980 at the Royal College of Art.

 

Meadows' early works are simplified bronze forms, left untouched after casting to emphasise their 'unrefined' character, reminiscent of eroded, patinated pieces of jetsam picked up on a tideway. Works from later periods are, by contrast, highly polished and chased. Meadows' sculptures are often inspired by natural forms, reinterpreted with a touch of eroticism or fantasy, in the manner of Lynn Chadwick. His works evolve freely from figuration to an Abstract-Expressionistic interpretation of his favourite themes, based on a limited formal plastic vocabulary, variously developed to express a highly diverse range of sensations.

 

The basic motifs of Meadows' figurative-imaginative work take second place to their successive reinterpretations. While not abstract in the truest sense, the works seek to express the essence of their subject: the crab is not recognisable as such, but is clearly equipped with pincers, the cockerel is a tangle of talons and spurs, the bird expresses the spirit of flight.

 

BENEZIT DICTIONARY OF ARTISTS